The economic numbers are good. Growth may be surpassing the Reagan years. Unemployment is pushing down to levels that economists consider full employment. For a mixed economy — a hybrid mixture of capitalism and government controls/welfare programs — it’s pretty darn good.
It’s primarily President Trump. Without his pushing, the lethargic and corrupt Republican Congress would never even have passed tax cuts. And the deregulation taking place comes out of the executive branch. If Trump had followed the lead of his Republican predecessors — the Bushes — then regulation would grow on his watch rather than decline.
But it’s still not enough. America’s economic situation is still unsustainable, for all the good President Trump and a handful of Republicans (e.g., Senator Rand Paul, Senator Ted Cruz, the House Freedom Caucus) are trying to do.
We still have Social Security and Medicare. These programs are not sustainable. They’re unsustainable because they spend far more than they take in. Yet people actually pay for these programs in the form of payroll taxes. They perceive that they’re paying for it, and therefore they should get something back. That’s true enough — except for the fact that what people pay in (collectively) does not nearly match the amount to which people feel entitled when they turn 65, or whatever. The numbers do not add up, according to the government’s own accountants, and sooner or later the whole thing has to come crashing down. Am I wrong, Republicans?
We have student loans. The artificial inflation in college tuition is due to government intervention in that market. The student loan program is now perceived as a give-a-way, since Democratic politicians have promised that once in power again, probably all loans will be forgiven and all college will now be 100 percent free. Many states already pay 100 percent for college, taking the moral value as well as the economic market value out of college altogether. Like Communism in other contexts, government-funded and government-run education have to go bust. We’re seeing the early signs in the literal madness that now exists on most college campuses (crying rooms, total censorship of conservative speakers, and all the rest.)
And then there’s the Federal Reserve. It’s a complex hybrid, a mixture of private markets and command-and-control fascist-like government policy. At its most rational, the Federal Reserve tries to follow what a truly free market would do. At its least rational, it tries to impose politicized standards like a Communist or fascist government in charge of the economy would do. At the end of the day, the Federal Reserve remains what it was always intended to be: A government-run entity designed to control the currency (rather than leaving currency private, as in a gold standard) so politicians might spend into infinity. The problem? You cannot spend into infinity, even when you have a Federal Reserve in existence to preserve the illusion (for a time) that you can.
Even if he survives the upcoming mid-term elections, a probable impeachment trial if he loses those mid-terms, and a hoped-for reelection victory in 2020, President Trump alone cannot solve the major problems of the Federal Reserve, government-financed tuition inflation and government-run health care.
America cannot go on like this. Not indefinitely. As helpful as President Trump’s term in office has already been for the economy — in under 2 years no less! — we have not begun to scratch the surface of our real and deepest problems.
Will America, perhaps even under President Trump’s leadership, begin to face and tackle some of these real problems? We’re in the process of finding out.
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